MerseySportLive were invited to Liverpool’s open training session ahead of their return to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium to face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League knockout stage.

The Reds’ Melwood base is comparable to a maximum-security prison, having 8ft high walls, green screens and a large stewarding presence.

The West Derby facility has been home to Liverpool first team since the 1950’s but this is the last year they’ll be using Melwood.

In 2017 Andy Hughes, the clubs’ chief financial officer, announced the news that they would move to a new £50m first team and academy training site in Kirkby.

Furthermore, Hughes commented on the move saying it is with “a heavy heart” as it had played “a significant role in the club’s history”.

So what is it like inside?  

Well, it is rather small actually.

The Facility has four full-sided pitches, all to the dimensions of Anfield pitch, one of them having screens around.

The screens are there to protect manager Jurgen Klopp’s unbeatable tactical formula… probably from Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

It was interesting to see the characters of the players away from the public’s eyes in training. Some of them, like Mohammed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum really enjoy their job, evidently having permanent smiles pasted on their faces.

A surprise to some would be youngsters Trent Alexander-Arnold and Luis Longstaff attitude. The 21 and 18 year-olds conducted themselves eye-catchingly professionally.

No such surprises from Ballon D’or runner up, Virgil Van Dijk. The Dutchman is a clear leader on the pitch and sets the proverbial bar on the training ground too.

Van Dijk cost the Reds £75 million in January 2018 and has proven to be worth every penny, and more. Now 28 years-old, it is clear Virgil has a close bond with fellow defender Joe Gomez.

The pair are inseparable. They have a camaraderie between them that was not visible between the rest of the squad, which is why they are a perfect partnership.

The only rivalling relationship is between Naby Keita and Sadio Mane. We managed to capture a few moments between the African tandem. The two played together at Red Bull Salzburg in 2014.

Lastly, the footballing eye candy. Roberto Firmino’s outrageous ball juggling. The samba star is well known to have silky moves and he does not hide them in training. He makes them look effortless.

Take a look for yourself.

WATCH: Inside Melwood: Liverpool Training ahead of their Champions League match against Atletico Madrid.

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